software

VS.NET 2005 service pack 1 installation failure

If you tried to install Service Pack 1 for Visual Studio .NET 2005 (aka KB926601), via Microsoft Update or manually, chances are high that the upgrade failed. The reason is that the deployment MSI package is almost 500M large. Before the actual installation process begins, Windows tries to verify the package. In order to do it it needs to load it into a continuous block of memory. Since even modern machines might not have that much memory available, the process fails and causes the upgrade to fail as well. An error, similar to "Error 1718.

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XQuery 1.0, XPath 2.0 and .NET

I was deeply disappointed to discover, that .NET framework 2.0 didn't contain XQuery implementation. Apparently, it was included in one of the earlier beta releases, but then was dropped by Microsoft in favour of the forthcoming LINQ project - some sort of blend between C# and Oracle's Pro*C (probably much prettier than the latter).

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FPGA - extreme computation performance for finance

Abstract

High performance computing in financial and other industries is constantly challenged by growing demand for faster results and larger volumes of data to process. FPGA - specially designed hardware units - through their ability to execute complex tasks in parallel - can substantially increase the throughput of systems and reduce data centre load. For many popular tasks a couple of machines with FPGAs on-board can replace a cluster of 50+ nodes.

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